For a moment, I felt the warmth exuding from within.
“This morning when I was staring at the snow outside the balcony, I wondered to myself if you had a good rest in the hotel last night. After all, it wouldn’t be as comfortable compared to staying at home. There wouldn’t be any heater or warm clothing. You looked weaker when I saw you earlier.” Even though I whispered those words, he was listening to them intently.
I could sense a smile in his baritone voice. “Alright. Tonight I’ll let you make it up to me!”
I lowered my head and blushed.
Upon hearing that we wanted to head out for dinner, Sally didn’t say much. After all, Ashton was around and he was the one who mentioned that he wanted to take me out. She remained silent, even if she wasn’t too pleased about that.
After we left the White residence, Ashton drove and brought me to a restaurant in the city center.
The crowd was huge at night. Fortunately, he had chosen a high-end area and there weren’t many people.
The ambience was nice and quiet. After the waiter guided us to our seat, Ashton looked at me and said, “Besides steak, what else do you want?”
I rested my chin on my hand while staring at the city’s bright lights. Without any hesitation, I replied, “Up to you, I’m fine with anything!”
He took a glance at me and saw that I was gazing at the scenery outside the window. Without questioning further, he ordered the food. “What plans do you have this new year?”
I shifted my gaze away from the bright lights and looked at him. “Wouldn’t it be the same as in previous years?”
But it was only at that moment that I realized in the previous years, Ashton and I would return to the Fullers’ family home to spend the new years when George was still alive. However, he wasn’t there anymore. Since we weren’t close to Uncle Charlie and Aunt Helen, it would be pointless to go back.
I pursed my lips at the thought.
Seeing my unease, he said, “I think the Stovall family would ask you to go over. What do you think of that?”
I had almost forgotten that Louis had asked me to be his god-daughter. “Then I guess I’ll be heading over to K City for New Year’s Eve.”
Macy and Jackson were both abroad, and I didn’t have any other relatives in J City. At the very least, Aunt Sally, Joe, Jared, and the Stovall family would also be here.
Upon thinking of Jared, I instantly asked Ashton, “Is everything settled at the hospital?”
He looked haggard. These few days must be hectic for him.
After the waiter served the food, Ashton cut my steak and handed over to me. “Yes, I think everything will be settled next year. No hurry. Let’s think of how we want to celebrate New Year first.”
Upon seeing that he had cared little about that, I was taken aback. I couldn’t help but ask, “Dr. Crest has always been in charge of the hospital. How has he been dealing with such a big problem?”
“He’s dealing with it. Accompany Aunt Sally these few days. I might need to go on a business trip tomorrow. I’ll be back in a few days.”
I sulked, with my chin resting on my hand. “New Year is almost here but you’re still busy with work.”
He smiled and brushed my hair. “I’ll make it up to you after that. Let’s renew our vows next year. You can decide on the theme?”
I was stunned. “Why is there a need to renew our vows?”
He chuckled and said, “I’ve shortchanged you for our wedding. Let’s have one and make it perfect for us. Furthermore, being a part of the Stovall family, we will have Louis walk you down the aisle. He will be happy to see his daughter being happily married. It would be a wish come true for him.”
“How is it possible for you to understand Uncle Louis so well, even though you have only met him a few times? What if he didn’t really mean it to have me as a god-daughter?” I laughed.
“Everyone in K City knows Louis is a man of his words. Since he has announced publicly that he wants you to be part of the Stovall family, that’s what he will do!”
I lowered my head and had difficulties with swallowing my food.
Upon noticing my changed expression, Ashton took my hand. “What else do you feel like eating?”
I shook my head. There was so much food on the table. “Ashton, do you think there are parents in the world who would really abandon their children? Even though I’ve only met Uncle Louis a few times, he has already portrayed such willingness to make me as his god-daughter. That means I’m not that bad. Why didn’t they want me?”
I suppressed the bitterness from overwhelming me. For over twenty years, I told myself that my life was fine even without them.
Grandma loved me even though I wasn’t related to her by blood. She loved me like her own. That was enough.
Growing up, my heart would ache even more whenever I saw my friends accompanied by their parents or relatives.. Why was I still alone in the end?
Ashton stood up and walked over to me. Then he embraced me in his arms while caressing my back. “You still have me, right?”